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Good starting rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Celtic, Jul 10, 2010.

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  1. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    First off let me say hello to you guys, I just joined the forum today.

    I have been looking for a good first rifle for a month or two now and I've gone through too many reviews and forum posts to count. I am looking for good rifle for punching holes in paper at a fairly far distances and sub-MOA preferably. I won't be doing any hunting at all and probably won't be hand loading for a few years.

    I have come down to 4 options that I think are very viable for a first rifle but I want to know what you guys think.

    Marlin XS7. [I have heard good things about this gun with hand loads but can't find any thing about factory loads]
    Savage Stevens. [I have seen very mixed reviews on this one but I am really interested in it]
    Savage Edge. [I was really interested in this one but the stiff trigger worries me]
    TC Venture. [The Venture is way above my budget but it may be worth it and the 5R rifling interests me]

    So, which one if these do you guys think is the best in terms of accuracy and quality? I am open to suggestions too.


    Also, I know that these are hunting rifles and will never be as accurate as a target rifle but its the best I can do currently.
     
  2. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    I went with the Marlin in 7mm-08. It shoots the 140 gr Federal Fusion's I bought just fine once I got my cheap scope sighted in. I'd rather have iron sights, but that's for another day.

    I like it. It fits me well & is well made. I even like the synthetic stock. It'll do minute of whitetail & that's what I want.
     
  3. DANNY243

    DANNY243 Member

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    Out of thise three I would go with the stevens. I have an xs-7 in .243 and I wish I had bought a stevens. It shot 12 inch groups out of the box with fed power shock ammo and the bolt opens when you carry it on a sling due to the 2 stage safety. The stevens is basically a savage 110 which is a fantastic rifle. Free floated barrel, floating bolt head, zero headspace and lots of aftermarket upgrades available. The stevens trigger is adjustable to a crisp 2 1/2 lbs, as good or batter than the marlin pro-fire trigger, all around better rifle imo. I wouldn't even consider the savage edge, its a bottom dollar piece of junk designed to complete with another piece of junk, the Rem 770.
     
  4. The Annoyed Man

    The Annoyed Man Member

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    What is "fairly far distances" to you? A lot of people talk about sub-MOA. Almost any rifle will put together a sub-MOA group on a perfect day with the perfect load.... ....once. And then it will frustrate the hell out of the owner for the next 10 years.

    If you want to do it with consistencey, first, buy a heavy barreled bolt rifle, .308 Winchester preferred. If you're serious about it, then don't buy a cheap rifle. You don't have to spend a gozillion dollars, but be prepared to sink at least $800-$1,000 into the rifle, maybe more, and an equal amount into the scope. Then go practice, practice, practice; and work up a load that works reliably in that rifle.

    Otherwise, if you're not willing to make that kind of investment, don't waste your time trying to use an inexpensive but perfectly good, lightweight sporter rifle as a sniper weapon. You can have scads of fun, and still go plinking, and hunt very well with a less expensive rig.

    We have two real accurate bolt rifles in our family - a Remington 700 VSF and a Savage 10FP-HS Precision. Both are heavy barreled rifles in .308, and both are a delight to shoot. But you won't get into one for the kind of bargain package prices you'll pay for a Stevens or Savage rifle/scope combo package.
     
  5. Lovesbeer99

    Lovesbeer99 Member

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    I'd need more info but based on what you asked for, I'd go with the Savage 10 or an AR. You can get a match grade AR for less then 1300 new so I'm sure you can get one used for a better price. you can get a match grade upper for less than 700.00 if you already have a lower.
     
  6. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    Thanks guys.
    I guess I'll start saving for a Savage 10FP. Sounds like a nice rifle.

    Also, would any one know an average group of a stevens 200 with factory ammo? Even with the mystic power of google I've yet to find one.

    EDIT: Wow "The Annoyed Man" we live pretty close to each other O_0
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  7. FMJMIKE

    FMJMIKE Member

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    Stevens or Savage.................:D
     
  8. TechBrute

    TechBrute Member

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    Celtic, welcome to THR. Check my sig line for a local support group.

    What kind of budget are you working with? A .223 is a great caliber for punching paper, especially if you aren't rolling your own. I would give some thought to a .22 for a first rifle if all you're doing is paper.
     
  9. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    Stevens30-30.jpg

    I'm an older guy that remembers the JFK assassination and Viet Nam War. Times have changed, buying trends have changed, but deer are the same.

    Stevens model 325 in 30-30 is a most excellent rifle. They can be purchased for far less than a lever action. Check GunBroker.com for this rifle. This rifle is still an excellent choice for forest & foothills hunter. Improved ammo by Hornady lever-revolution makes 225 yards shots entirely feasible.

    TR
     
  10. blackops

    blackops Member

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    R700 SPS. Down the road when you decide to improve the rifle you will have the most available options on the market. From cheap, to mid, to top of the line. Good luck changing the trigger out on the Savage. Or even finding 1/4 of the stocks available for the R700. You can get a SPS for around 600.

    DO NOT buy a 30-30. The 308 is a great round to learn how to shoot with. After you have no lands left in your barrel then you can get picky about the cartridge.
     
  11. TechBrute

    TechBrute Member

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    So, technology be darned, let's hunt with spears!! Deer are the same. Technology marches on.

    For a target rifle, you'll want a heavy barrelled rifle, as the annoyed dude said. After a handful of shots, thinner profiles start walking the shots. They don't do well for 100 rounds or so.
     
  12. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    Maybe I should look into a Tikka? I am sorry guys for these silly questions but I am fresh of the boat to rifles.

    And actually TechBrute brings up a good question, what caliber rifle should I get? I am partial to .308 for the amount of choices available.


    That Savage 10FP and 10FCP-K really "turn me on" lol
     
  13. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    the 10F line definitely has a good reputation

    however, you might want to check with some local NRA clubs as they often publish newsletters monthly that include items for sale by members, which are usually used match rifles.

    btw, welcome to THR
     
  14. The Annoyed Man

    The Annoyed Man Member

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    Celtic, here you go: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=298021

    We've both gotten better with those rifles since then. I was recently shooting 3/8" groups with the Remington, using 175 grain SMKs on 42.5 grains of Varget. Also, a minor correction... I originally reported the 700 as having a 1:12 twist. That was taken from the Remington website at the time, but it was wrong. I checked with Remington customer service, and the barrel has a 1:10 twist. When I switched to shooting 175 grain bullets, its accuracy picked up another notch.
     
  15. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    Thanks Annoyed, that is really helpful. I am going to take a look at that VSF really fast....google is amazing

    Edit: Looks about the same price as a 10fp. Both look like awesome rifles
     
  16. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    Actually that VSF looks quite nice. But now I hit the brick wall of picking the best rifle for me out of the limitless expanse of rifles...
     
  17. homers

    homers Member

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    If you aren't planning on hunting, then I'd choose a caliber that has little to moderate recoil, has cheap and plentiful ammo found at almost any store -- 223 or 243. 308 is a great, all round, usually easy and cheap to find also, but will kick noticeably more than the others I mentioned.

    As far as guns go, find a nice piece, put a decent ($200+ scope on it) and have fun.

    The marlin xs7 looks good, many good things have been written about it. I'd also look into the Weatherby Vanguard.
     
  18. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    I would go with a marlin xs7 or a t/c venture. I have owned both the marlin and the stevens and both are great guns. They are both very accurate and light but the marlin has the better trigger. Both will be great starting guns. Just be sure you let the light contour barrel cool between shots and you will be ok. What money you save can be used on ammo and a good scope.
     
  19. DIM

    DIM Member

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    I would say Venture, however never tried it, but I own TC ICON and from experience I would say its above Savage Remington or Marlin, from what I remember Venture offers 1 MOA guarantee, my Icon came with SUB MOA and the target with it showed 0.56" spread. I also had experience with their customer service, they offer life time warranty on their product, with Venture I would check if lifetime does apply. I had issue with new bolt, it was hard to close so I called them 2 hours later there was FedEx guy at my door to pick up my riffle they overnight it and I got it back two days later. I never experienced such quick service. My issue was with the tight ejector spring it was new they told me on the phone to use dummy round to get it loose, but they still wanted back to their shop. I think if you get Venture you want be disappointed... Good luck!
     
  20. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    What is everyone's opinion on the Venture? Any issues? Or any flukes?
     
  21. DIM

    DIM Member

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    Its a rare piece I held few but never shot one seem ok but different from ICON
     
  22. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    Do you guys know which of my original list, excluding the Venture, is the most accurate in .308? I think it would be the Marlin or Stevens
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  23. Abel

    Abel Member

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    I wouldn't rate anything on your original list as SUB-MOA. That's not to say that they aren't all fine hunting rifles....Minute-of-deer is what they are made for. But they are all capable of 1.5MOA. The Venture claims MOA accuracy. There's only one way to find that out. :D
     
  24. Celtic

    Celtic Member

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    How accurate would a mosin nagant sniper rifle be? Probably about 3" MOA?


    And out of pure curiosity, would a Stevens or Marlin be able to hit a target out at 1000 yards? I know thats one hell of a challenge but is it remotely possible?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  25. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Savage 110, then glass bed it yourself, free float the barrel and have a gunsmith do a trigger job on it. Mount a really nice scope and you will be on your way, if not already there, to having a TACK-DRIVER!
     
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